Dry and cool tonight; mild southwest breeze Tuesday afternoon with a risk for a few late afternoon-evening showers/t-storms

Tuesday will start out cool, but temperatures will warm into the middle 60s to lower 70s Tuesday afternoon (a few locales might even get up to around 75 degrees) Normal highs on September 1st are in the lower 70s.

Most of the day Tuesday looks dry across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but there could be a few showers or thunderstorms around from late Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening as a quick moving system passes through the area. Moisture and instability will be limited on Tuesday, but there could be just enough of both to produce a few showers or storms late in the day.

It does look a tad windy on Tuesday with southwesterly winds 15 to 25 mph (higher gusts are possible)

18z NAM 3km simulated radar forecast valid from 1 PM Tuesday to 7 AM Wednesday; Source: https://weathermodels.com/

We’ve got two more systems lined up through Thursday, the strongest of the two moves through the area Wednesday night into Thursday.

Tuesday’s system could bring a few showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly to north-central and northeast Minnesota mainly late in the afternoon and into the evening, while the system for Wednesday night and Thursday looks to bring a few more showers to the Northland with the best chances again across northern Minnesota the way it looks now.

Source: 18z NAM model 8.31.2020; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

A strong area of low pressure of around 978-985mb is expected to pass north of Lake Superior on Thursday, this system could bring gale force and possibly even storm force winds to parts of Lake Superior (especially central/eastern portions of the lake) on Thursday.

Source: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

It’s a fairly active weather pattern at the moment as the transition from summer to fall is well underway!

Source: Goes-16 water vapor loop 8.31.2020; https://weather.cod.edu/


Rainfall Reports from Monday, August 31st, 2020

Source: https://mesowest.utah.edu/

Cass Lake, MN: 1.20″

Bigfork, MN: 1.16″

Grand Marais, MN: 1.07″

Orr, MN: 0.94″

Longville, MN: 0.88″

Two Harbors, MN: 0.87″

Moose Lake, MN: 0.80″

Walker, MN: 0.77″

Duluth Airport: 0.75″

International Falls, MN: 0.74″

Saginaw, MN: 0.73″

Littlefork, MN: 0.72″

Cloquet, MN: 0.71″

Aitkin, MN: 0.70″

Ely, MN: 0.69″

Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 0.69″

Superior Airport: 0.57″

Solon Springs, WI: 0.54″

Minong, WI: 0.53″

Brainerd, MN: 0.51″

Clam Lake, WI: 0.51″

Hinckley, MN: 0.50″

Siren, WI: 0.46″

Hayward, WI: 0.46″

Glidden, WI: 0.41″

Washburn, WI: 0.38″

Ashland, WI: 0.37″

Note: 0.75″ of rain reported at the Duluth Airport today, Monday, August 31st, 2020 – This is the greatest rainfall total for the month. The second greatest was on August 7th with 0.71″ of rain.

Here’s a look at today’s system on Goes-16 visible satellite imagery, a pretty impressive system as we wrap up meteorological summer 2020!

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

A 6-hour radar loop from 6 AM to Noon, Monday, August 31st, 2020.


There is a third system lined up for this weekend, although some timing differences are seen in model guidance today as to when exactly this system would impact the Northland (if it does at all)

A surge of warm, humid and unstable air will accompany the system this weekend and it could bring a round of showers and thunderstorms to parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin sometime late Saturday or Sunday. Stay tuned.

Source: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

I’m continuing to see strong signals in model guidance for a shot of very cool air for next week. Note: There is still a bit of uncertainty as to when this cool air arrives, and how long it will stick around for, but at the very least it’s looking quite cool especially the early to middle part of next week (September 7-9)

It looks like will have highs mainly in the 50s across the Northland on a few days next week while overnight lows dip into the 30s. The first frost and or freeze of the season is possible next week in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 8.31.2020; https://weathermodels.com/


Here are the climate normals and records for September at Duluth, Minnesota.

Normal high on the 1st: 71 degrees
Normal high on the 30th: 59 degrees

Normal low on the 1st: 52 degrees
Normal low on the 30th: 40 degrees

Averages and Records for September

Temperature: 55.6 degrees
Warmest: 62.6 degrees set in 1897
Coldest: 47.8 degrees set in 1974

Precipitation: 4.11″
Wettest: 11.52″ set in 1881
Driest: 0.19″ set in 1952

Snowfall: 0.1″
Snowiest: 2.4″ set in 1991

Number of days at or above 80 degrees: 2
Most was 10 days set in 1908

Number of days at or below 32 degrees: 1
Most was 7 days set in 1974

Astronomical Data for September

Sunrise on the 1st: 6:29 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 30th: 7:06 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st: 7:47 PM CDT
Sunset on the 30th: 6:48 PM CDT

Note: The Autumnal Equinox is on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 at 8:30 AM.

Thanks for reading!


Rain late tonight into Monday morning; gusty winds on Monday; Gale event possible over Lake Superior Thursday

*This evening looks mainly dry in Duluth, but a few showers can’t be ruled later this evening in the 10 PM to Midnight time frame, but a better chance for widespread rain occurs roughly in the 2 AM to 10 AM time frame (+/- an hour)

*Rain ends in Duluth late Monday morning with some clearing expected by Monday afternoon.

*A period of strong NW winds are possible lasting roughly an hour or two Monday morning (somewhere in the 7-10 AM time frame) wind gusts 30-40 mph are possible.

*Breezy conditions continue Monday afternoon, with west winds gusting 15 to 25 mph.

*Highs across the Northland on Monday will mainly be in the 60s, although a few locations might get close to 70 degrees late Monday afternoon.

*Looking ahead to Tuesday and Wednesday’s weather features warmer temperatures across the Northland with highs in the 70s. Looks breezy both days with a southwest wind Tuesday and a west-southwest wind for Wednesday. Isolated showers or thunderstorms are possible mainly over northern Minnesota Tuesday evening, otherwise it looks mostly dry Tuesday and Wednesday.

*Next week’s shot of very cool air is still showing up on model guidance today with a potential for the first frost and or freeze of the season for much of the Northland around September 7-11.


Here comes our rain event for late tonight. This system is pretty strong so it should bring a widespread light to moderate rainfall to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from late tonight through Monday morning.

Source: Goes-16 water vapor loop from Sunday, August 30, 2020; https://weather.cod.edu/

There should be some fairly strong forcing accompanying this system late tonight into Monday morning noted by the red colors on this animation. As this system moves closer to the Northland we should see rain become more widespread especially after Midnight tonight once better forcing approaches from the WSW.

Source: 18z NAM model 8.30.2020; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast from 7 this evening to 7 Monday evening – Rain begins in western and southern portions of the Northland mid to late evening and then spreads into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin after Midnight tonight. Rain ends from SW-NE Monday morning, but rain could linger over the Arrowhead of Minnesota into early Monday afternoon before this system moves away.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

Computer models have increased rain totals with tonight’s system, especially around the Twin Ports area and far northwest Wisconsin, rain totals in these areas could reach a half inch, while around an inch of rain is possible from Bigfork and International Falls, east to Ely and Grand Marais. The least amount of rain is forecast to fall around the Hayward, Ashland and Hurley areas with amounts generally around a quarter inch or so.

Note: August 14th was the last time where the Duluth Airport picked up at least a quarter inch of rain (0.38″) and there’s only been 3 rainfall events so far this month with 0.25″ or more of rain at the Duluth Airport, greatest was on August 7th with 0.71″ of rain.

Source: https://lab.weathermodels.com/


Meteorological summer is quickly coming to an end, in fact Monday, August 31st marks the final day of meteorological summer 2020.

Meteorological seasons

Summer: June 1 to August 31

Fall: September 1 to November 30

Winter: December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year)

Spring: March 1 to May 31

Let’s take a look at some climate stats from around the Northland for the summer of 2020 – Stats below are from June 1st to August 29th, so with 2 days left to go of summer 2020 the stats below could change just a little bit.

Source: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Leech Lake, Minnesota

Average temperature: 68.3 degrees
Departure: +2.0 degrees above normal

Total precipitation: 15.89″
Departure: +4.92″ above normal

Duluth, Minnesota

Average temperature: 67.2 degrees
Departure: +3.2 degrees above normal

Total precipitation: 7.91″
Departure: -3.62″ below normal

38 days with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees. Average for the summer is 23 days. Last summer had 42 days with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees.

2 days with a high temperature of at least 90 degrees. We had 0 days in the 90s last summer.

Superior, Wisconsin

Average temperature: 66.7 degrees
Departure: +2.9 degrees above normal

Total precipitation: 9.75″
Departure: -1.81″ below normal

International Falls, Minnesota

Average temperature: 65.3 degrees
Departure: +2.2 degrees above normal

Total precipitation: 10.36″
Departure: +0.11″ above normal

Hibbing, Minnesota

Average temperature: 63.8 degrees
Departure: +1.7 degrees above normal

Total precipitation: 12.92″
Departure: +1.44″ above normal

Summary: Summer of 2020 was warmer than average across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin as average temperatures for the three month period of June, July and August came in anywhere from 1 to 3 degrees above normal. Precipitation totals have varied considerably this summer, ranging from around 8 inches at the Duluth Airport to nearly 16 inches at Leech Lake.

A westerly gale event is possible across Lake Superior on Thursday, September 3rd as a deep area of low pressure passes NW of Lake Superior.

The GFS model from Sunday morning is the deepest with the low, bottoming out in the 971-977mb range as it passes north of Lake Superior on Thursday.

Note: With a west wind, the largest waves would be east of Duluth and Superior on Thursday.

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

The main impact in the Northland with the system for late this week would be from gusty winds as most of the rain looks to stay further north in Ontario.

Shown below is the 850mb wind forecast from 7 PM Wednesday to 7 PM Thursday. Those red colors indicate winds of 50 to around 70 knots up at ~5000 feet, some of that wind will likely mix down to the surface resulting in some strong gusty winds Wednesday evening into Thursday.

Thanks for reading!


Dry and mild on Sunday; some rain returns Sunday night and Monday; frost/freeze risks second week of September

Meteorological Fall begins on Tuesday, September 1st, and right on cue the weather pattern is trending fall like next week.

-More frequent and deeper low pressure systems impacting the area.

-More wind as we undergo temperature changes from day to day, mild one day, cooler the next.

-Sunday’s weather: A pleasant late summer day with highs mainly in the 70s with breezy southerly winds 10 to 20 mph. Cooler temps over the Arrowhead and North Shore as winds will be out of the east. A mix of sun and clouds are expected for Sunday, and it looks dry through the day.


Here comes the first system which is expected to deepen as it moves over us on Monday. There should be quite a bit of lift ahead of this one along with a strengthening SSW 850mb jet of 30 to 50 knots Sunday night which will result in a warm/moist advection pattern across the Northland – Bottom line is that we should see widespread light to moderate rainfall across the area from Sunday evening through early Monday afternoon. Beginning first in far western areas late Sunday afternoon or evening, then spreading east later Sunday night. Rain wraps up from W-E Monday morning/early Monday afternoon.

Source: 12z NAM model 500mb forecast 8.29.2020; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid from 1 PM Sunday to 1 PM Monday.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/


Looks like will have highs in the 60s and 70s next week across the Northland which really isn’t that cool, and only a little below normal for the August 31st to September 5th time frame, and I don’t think will have to worry about any frost in northeast Minnesota or northwest Wisconsin at least through September 6th, but after that…read on!

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

What’s lurking for the second week of September is quite impressive as a large pool of chilly air sets up shop over central Canada, Northern Plains, upper Midwest and western Great Lakes – This air mass could lead to daytime highs topping out only in the 40s and 50s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin sometime between September 7th and 12th, while a few nights of frost/freezing conditions are possible as well during the second week of September. Note: Computer models have a tendency of overdoing these early season cold shots, so will see if computer models remain consistent in showing this cold air mass, or if they begin to modify things just a bit between now and September 7th. Stay tuned.

This pattern should it verify will certainly be a cool one for the Northland – An almost winter type setup for the second week of September, but without snow, a little too early for that.

Some snow is possible at times over the next 10 days across parts of the Rockies per Euro, GFS and Canadian/GEM computer models.

Source: 12z Canadian/GEM model 8.29.2020; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/


The outlined areas on the map picked up a quarter to half inch of rain on Friday, with one to as much as two plus inches of rain reported in southeast portions of northwest Wisconsin (Hayward Lakes vicinity)

Source: https://lab.weathermodels.com/

Rainfall Reports from Friday, August 28, 2020

Source: https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

4 W Clam Lake, WI: 2.52″

Hayward, WI: 1.54″

Hurley, WI: 0.91″

Butternut, WI: 0.85″

12 N Grand Rapids, MN: 0.45″

2 E Celina, MN: 0.26″

1.2 W Solon Springs, WI: 0.23″

Cook, MN: 0.20″

Grand Marais, MN: 0.20″

Two Harbors, MN: 0.17″

3 E Wright, MN: 0.12″

2 S Tower, MN: 0.11″

Ashland, WI: 0.09″

International Falls, MN: 0.03″

Brainerd, MN: 0.02″

Duluth Airport: 0.01″

Thanks for reading!


Some rain on Friday; nice Saturday; rain chances return Sunday night and Monday

We’ve got some rain moving in on Friday thanks to a disturbance moving east out of the Dakotas while a cold front moves SE out of northwestern Minnesota. Should be enough lift and moisture to produce some rain at times in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from Friday morning into Friday evening thanks to the aforementioned disturbance and cold front approaching from the west. A few thunderstorms are also possible Friday afternoon across northern Minnesota, and throughout the day over northwest Wisconsin. No severe weather is expected on Friday.

Note: Rain is possible in Duluth and Superior after 6-7 AM Friday with some rain possible at times into Friday afternoon followed by isolated showers Friday evening.

Rainfall totals with Friday’s system look to range from around a quarter inch over northern Minnesota to a half inch to an inch from east-central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin.

High temperatures on Friday will be in the 60s and lower 70s, and it looks a tad breezy at times, especially for a few hours near Lake Superior (NE wind) and then area-wide Friday night into Saturday morning as NW winds increase behind Friday’s system.

Goes-16 lower level water vapor loop from Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Tropical Storm Laura with 50 mph winds has moved into far southern Arkansas late this afternoon. Laura will continue moving NE reaching the Mid-Atlantic by Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile closer to home our Friday system is currently over the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains and is east bound.

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

That dip or where the X is marked on the map indicates lift which will be moving over the Northland during the day Friday which should help to produce some rain.

Source: 12z HREF model 8.27.2020; https://www.spc.noaa.gov/

Note: Model guidance is in pretty good agreement with Friday’s rain event, but at least one model that being the Canadian model keeps the bulk of the rain farther south (black outlined area on map) missing most of the Northland, although scattered showers would still occur during the afternoon and evening with a cold front moving across the area, but the steadiest rain would stay south of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin should the Canadian model verify.

Source: https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

Here’s a look at the NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM Friday.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

And a look at the 18z HRRR model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM Friday.

Saturday is looking like a nice day across the Northland with some sunshine and highs in the mid 60s to low 70s, but rain chances look to return sometime Sunday night or Monday as a rather potent trough and cold front approaches from the west.

Source: 18z NAM model 8.27.2020; https://weather.cod.edu/


Latest Drought Monitor as of August 25th, 2020.


12% of the state is in Moderate Drought (D1) this is up from 10% last week.

31% of the state is Abnormally Dry which is up from 26% last week.

Source: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Note: Moderate drought areas in orange on the map with abnormally dry areas in yellow on the map.


1% of the state is in Moderate Drought (D1) unchanged from last week.

23% of the state is Abnormally Dry which is up from 10% last week.

August 14th was the last time the Duluth Airport picked up at least a quarter inch of rain, so about 2 weeks ago.

Precipitation deficit for the year is back up to around 7″ in Duluth, so about 2 months worth of precipitation below normal.

Here’s a look at daily rainfall totals this summer from June 1st thru August 26th, 2020.

Note: Rainfall totals listed below are from the Duluth Airport.

Source: https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/


A look at how much rain has fallen over the last 2 weeks – A familiar pattern this summer where the bulk of the rain has fallen across north-central Minnesota and over parts of northwest Wisconsin with a lot less rain closer to Lake Superior.

Rainfall totals from the major climate reporting stations across the Northland (August 13-27, 2020)

Hibbing: 3.57″

International Falls: 2.54″

Brainerd: 2.19″

Ashland: 0.72″

Duluth Airport: 0.46″

Source: https://lab.weathermodels.com/

Total precipitation percent of mean during the last 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading!


Some evening rain and thunder; mild but less humid on Thursday; Hurricane Laura Update

A cold front is working its way through the Northland this afternoon. Favorable ingredients are in place for thunderstorm development and even a few strong to severe storms late this afternoon over northwest Wisconsin with high amounts of CAPE, favorable wind shear and stronger winds aloft, but very warm temperatures in the mid/upper levels of the atmosphere (cap) will make it difficult for severe weather development as a cold front continues to move SE across the area through the evening.

A nice area of thunderstorms blew up just west of Duluth late this afternoon and these storms are currently moving through the Twin Ports as of 5:15 PM with some lightning and torrential rainfall. Bulk of this activity is affecting the southern portions of Duluth, not much happening on the north side of the city. These storms are moving off to the east and will be followed by some more showers through about mid evening.

Note the brighter colors to the cloud tops toward the end of this satellite loop, these were the storms that developed near Duluth late this afternoon.

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

Will likely see some rain showers and a few thunderstorms affect parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through the evening with brief downpours and occasional lightning, but the risk for stronger storms is low due to the cap that is in place.

Source: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/


The northern edge of a late August heat wave worked its way into southern parts of the Northland this afternoon with temperatures reaching the middle 80s as far north as Duluth (86 F at the Airport) while even hotter temperatures were found farther south. Note: The heat index at the Duluth Airport at 4 PM today was 91 degrees! No record heat in Duluth today, however, as the record high for August 26th is 93 degrees which was set in 1937.

A cooler air mass arrives on Thursday with highs mainly in the 70s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Source: RTMA model; https://lab.weathermodels.com/

Today may very well have been the final time this summer with 70 degree dew points in our area. A much more comfortable air mass moves in on Thursday with dew points a good 15 to 20 degrees lower compared to what we’re seeing this afternoon.

Source: RTMA model

Looks mainly dry across the Northland on Thursday, but a few showers are could return Thursday night into Friday as another cold front moves SE out of Northern Plains. Note: A bigger concern from late Thursday afternoon into Thursday night will be the potential for heavy rain and flash flooding across southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin.

Source: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/


…Hurricane Laura Update…

4 PM CDT Advisory, Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Source: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Laura has strengthened to a powerful category 4 hurricane this afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. Laura was located about 155 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, or about 155 miles south-southeast of Port Arthur, Texas. Movement was to the northwest at 15 mph. The minimum central pressure of Laura was 947mb/27.97 inches.

Based on its current movement, Laura should make landfall later tonight somewhere between Sabine Pass and Cameron.

Some key messages from the National Hurricane Center

"STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could
reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated
areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Johnson Bayou LA to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge including Calcasieu
Lake...15-20 ft
Sea Rim State Park TX to Johnson Bayou LA including Sabine
Lake...10-15 ft
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Intracoastal City LA...10-15 ft
Intracoastal City LA to Morgan City including Vermilion Bay...8-12
Port Bolivar TX to Sea Rim State Park...6-9 ft
Morgan City LA to Mouth of the Mississippi River...4-7 ft
Freeport TX to Port Bolivar including Galveston Bay...2-4 ft
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs MS including Lake
Borgne...1-3 ft
Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas...1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the right of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large and destructive waves."
"Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause
catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal
City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This surge 
could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, 
and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the 

Goes-16 mesoscale floater one hour sandwich satellite loop of Hurricane Laura from Wednesday, August 26, 2020 (loop time 3:35 PM to 4:35 PM CT)

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

Goes-16 lower level water vapor loop from Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Loop time 12:01 PM to 4:41 PM CDT.

Laura will make landfall as a major hurricane late tonight over the Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts.


I’d say the chances are pretty good that some parts of the Northland (especially away from Lake Superior) will get their first frost within the next 2 weeks which really isn’t that unusual.

Check out the record first frost dates across the Northland

Duluth: August 27, 1986

International Falls: August 20, 1907

Brainerd: August 6, 1977

Hibbing: August 13, 2004

Ashland: August 18, 1950

Hayward: August 20, 1934

And here’s the average date for the first frost across the Northland

Duluth: September 30

International Falls: September 14

Brainerd: September 21

Hibbing: September 15

Ashland: September 18

Hayward: September 14

Looks like September is going to open cooler than average across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 8.26.2020; https://weathermodels.com/

Thanks for reading!